William Gorman
Service number 153

Trooper William Gorman served with three of Australia’s light horse regiments, at Gallipoli and in the Middle East, ending the war as part of a machine gun squadron.

A labourer, William was 27 years old when he enlisted in Beaudesert on January 13, 1915. Born at Drayton, he was the son of John Gorman, of Toowoomba and a brother of Thomas Gorman and Patrick Gorman.

William left Brisbane on the HMAT Medic on June 2, 1915, with the 11th Light Horse Regiment, bound for the Middle East.

Shortly after arriving in Egypt, he left Alexandria on the HT Marquotte on August 25. William arrived on the Gallipoli peninsula on August 28, just after the last disastrous attacks had failed to break the stalemate which had existed since the initial landings four months earlier, and was taken on strength with the 2nd Light Horse Regiment the next day.

The regiment was withdrawn from the Gallipoli front line in September and was evacuated from the peninsula on December 18. William returned to Alexandria on the Ionian on December 26.

After rejoining the 11th Light Horse Regiment at Heliopolis on February 22, 1916, William was admitted to hospital with mumps and influenza in March.

On March 20 he returned to his regiment which had resumed its role as a mounted force, in July helping to defend the Suez Canal. The regiment also patrolled the Sinai Desert and it was at Ferdan that William was struck down with dysentery in early August.

Suffering next from debility and then bronchitis, William was out of action until December. He was then taken on strength with the 3rd Light Horse Regiment at Moascar and, after passing the Hotchkiss Machine Gun course at Zeitoun in February 1917, was transferred to the 4th Light Horse Training Regiment.

“Disastrous attacks had failed to break the stalemate.”

The legendary charge at Beersheba.

The following month, William was transferred to the 4th Machine Gun Squadron, which was part of the 4th Light Horse Brigade.

Between March 1917 and February 1918, the brigade was involved in the second and third battles of Gaza, including the legendary charge at Beersheba, the Battle of Jerusalem and the capture of Jericho.

Suffering a gastric ulcer, William was admitted to hospital at Port Said on February 15, 1918, William did not return to the 4th Machine Gun Squadron, then at Moascar, until May 9.

The war was already over by the time William was promoted to Lance Corporal in late November, 1918. On July 24, 1919, he boarded the Dongola at Suez to return to Australia.

Arriving in Australia on August 30, William was discharged as medically unfit on October 29, 1919, four years and nine months after enlisting.

In July 1967, William’s widow, Bessie Gorman, then living on Main Street, North Tamborine, applied for the ANZAC Medallion to which her late husband was entitled for his service on the Gallipoli peninsula more than 50 years earlier.


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